10 Free Windows Programs I Can’t Live Without in 2014

In an endless quest to find software that automatically does stuff for me, I’ve found a bunch of programs that really do make my life easier.

1. Secunia PSI (Software Updater)

I’ve used several updaters before (Sumo and FileHippo Update Checker) but this one does a really deep scan of all the software on my computer and let’s me know what’s out of date. It’s got a simple interface and direct links to download updates. I only wish it could ignore a few programs; things like XAMPP don’t always have the latest versions.

2. Phrase Express (Text Expander)

I type ‘teh’ a lot. I live in a place called ‘Hagerstown’ which is also in the name of the school I work at. That’s a lot of typing. Phrase Express is a text expander. It sits in the system tray and if I type ‘Hag’, it immediately expands it into ‘Hagerstown’. And it doesn’t matter what program I’m in; Phrase Express monitors keystrokes, not individual programs.

3. Process Lasso (Memory Priority Optimizer)

This strange little program is pretty unique. It monitors your software and assigns priorities to different task to increase efficiency. I like it for games especially; it forces everything else to give priority to the game.  

4. Desktop Media (Desktop Utility)

When you pop in a removable media like a CD or a USB drive, this program put a temporary shortcut to in on your desktop like Mac desktop’s do. That’s it.

5. Wizmouse (Scrollwheel Enhancement

(Scrollwheel Enhancement)This great little program forces the mouse scrollwheel to scroll whatever program it’s overtop of. This means if you have two windows up and one is in the forefront, I can move my mouse over the other and scroll; the background program stays in the background but continues to scroll.

6. xNeat Clipboard Manager (Clipboard Manager)

I copy and paste a lot. This small program holds everything I’ve copied, even after the computer has restarted. Instead of CTRL+V to paste the most recently copied item, I can hit CTRL+SHIFT+V to get a list of the most recent 30 items to choose from.

7. Filebox Extender (Explorer Enhancement)

This adds a couple of buttons to the title bar in every program. The two buttons that I use are rollup and pin. Rollup collapses a program from the bottom up into nothing but the title bar. It’s kind of a reverse minimize. Pin simply make a program stay in the forefront even if it’s not the active one. This is good for copying from one program to another.

8. Everything (Desktop Search)

This is a great little search program. Double click the system tray icon and you can search any drive or folder for anything.

9. AquaSnap (Explorer Enhancement)

Windows 7 lets you drag a program window to the left or right edge and it will resize to fit half the screen. Aqua snap lets you drag to the corners to make a program fill a quarter of the screen. I often have a lot of windows open at the same time and this helps me stay organized.

10. Volumouse (Scrollwheel Enhancement)

The regular volume in the system try requires a click to activate and a drag to set the volume along with an annoying ‘ding’ when you let go. Ain’t nobody got time for all that. Volumouse is set so that when I click down and scroll on the mouse scrollwheel, it immediately changes the system volume up or down. This sometimes doesn’t work on webpages as it makes them actually scroll instead, but I just need to move to the title bar and it works.

Tags: Free, Software, Utilities, Windows

This entry was posted by stmaher on at and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: